Tag Archives: organization

get brave

be brave -- with heart! flickr.com/photos/hryckowian/

text says: "be brave!"

(from some visioning for 2010: I’d like to post more consistently here at the writingourselveswhole blog, and one topic I want to communicate about is this process I’m entering around growing the workshops into something more like a nonprofit. I never saw myself as someone who would start an org, and have a lot of ‘inner critic’ stuff coming up about these new steps. I want to be transparent with these voices, with my response to ’em, and more…)

Remember that writing prompt, “If I were brave, I would…”? Here’s one of my writes in response:

If I were brave, I would sell my work: hold to the excitement and joy about it and share that with others. If I were brave, I would want some hope. If I were brave, I would talk about the work, I would go dancing, let myself sing, I would open hard, I would let the love happen, I would expect that the joy will keep happening, I will let myself and us fly, I will remember what words and writing can do, I will remember what words and writing can do. I will remember what words and writing can do. I will dive open. If I were brave, I would write my press release. If I were brave, I would then MAIL that press release to people, media outlets. If I were brave, I would ask for help. If I were brave, I would accept what’s offered. If I were brave, I would ask to be interviewed on radio shows. I would get public about my work, about the workshops, about upcoming collaborations, about what words and writing in community can do.

What if you were only thinking about what you needed and wanted (untempered by what others say or think is possible)?

Ending Child Sexual Abuse within 5 Generations

I am so sad that I missed the “Generations of Change” event honoring Staci Hanes last week — Staci Hanes is the woman who began Generation 5, an organization devoted to ending childhood sexual abuse within 5 generations, through community education, public action, and survivor leadership. Join their mailing list, throw a house party, participate in a training and help out where you can!


The Revolution and the possibilities of beauty

cover of "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded; Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial ComplexI’m reading The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the non-profit industrial complex (edited by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence), and I am feeling hopeful. It’s so scary to imagine being truly non-competitive, remembering that I am a part of a movement and that I am not alone, not reinventing the wheel, that there are all these communities, like circles of friends – and sometimes like cliques – that I am a part of: anti-violence movements, anti-rape movements, movements challenging sexual violence, power of words movements, sex educators, pornographers, writers, racial justice activists, movements questioning abuses of power and hierarchy, queers, and anti-conformity communities…

I have all this energy and the coffee is making me impatient with the movement and slowness of my hands, this physical body. So, while reading, I am also thinking about how to do this work. I don’t feel it’s necessary to shape my mission to feed funders’ language requirements – I have just seen that so many times, seen people lose jobs and others lose services/communities/programs because of an ostensibly-surprising loss of funding. I see organizations losing track of who they’re there for – not funders, right? Aren’t our non-profits supposed to be in the service of/to the people?

Of course, this has changed radically, this idea that all non-profit organizations exist to serve the people, rather than those foundations paying the bills. So what do we do, we organizers and activists and social change workers who want to somehow keep a roof over our heads while also devoting our lives to doing the work we believe in, to changing our communities, to engagement with others doing the same?

I believe in the power of words to save us and to transform us – and I believe that individual transformation is an important and necessary ingredient of larger social change. I believe in the mantras of One at a Time and that real, lasting change is slow steady, persistent change: like practice. Change isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an every-day, collaborative and individual (both) bit of consistency. I believe that change is relationship-based, that change happens through connection and through the reality of hearts recognizing each other, no matter how different we thought we were on all of our various surfaces.

We don’t have to do what everyone – i.e., the “mainstream” – says we have to do to survive; we can create new possibilities through our words, through our sharing, which create fissures inside of and alongside the systems that have shaped and snared us. My stepfather (and perpetrator) was very fond of the spaces in-between. He believed in shiny surfaces and lies, taught me to look critically at what hides in plain view. This was unfortunate for him. We saw him hiding there because he revealed himself to us (ah, the way entitlement eventually hangs itself!), and we held him to account (to some extent, anyway).

I am not someone who *believes* too much in shiny things. Now, shiny and polished are nice, but I recognize that they’re fronts.

I do not believe in hiding in plain view. I believe in visibility. I also believe in using what’s available and loving all the spaces we exist within: that is, looking at our whole world and admiring not just the storefront, but also the back alley and the unweeded side yard, and the spots that need paint and repair. I like seeing the real, the spaces still dirty, the smudged mascara, the pressed shirt with a stain, broken fingernails, chipped teeth – the broad possibilities of beauty.